Annapurna Base Camp Sanctuary Trek is our best trek in Annapurna region. Annapurna – the name comes from Sanskrit language with a meaning ” full of food “ but typically represented as “Goddess of harvest” is a massif Himalayan section in the north – central Nepal equipped with Mt. Annapurna I ( 8,091 m. / 26,545 ft.) – the tenth highest mountain peak on the earth. Annapurna I ( 8,091 m. ) was first climbed by Maurice Herzog and Lachenal from France in June 1950. It was the first ever climbed mountain Peak above 8,000 m.
Annapurna Sanctuary that we reach during the trek is a beautiful oval shaped glacial basin in the base of Annapurna I, Annapurna South, Himalchuli with a narrow entrance made by Himalchuli and Machhapuchhre. The sanctuary, a majestic amphitheatre of nature is taken as abode of Gods and Goddess by Hindus, Buddhists and other animistic groups in which some items and itinerary are restricted by local Gurung people.
The Fishtail ( 6,993 m. ) on the right hand side of entrance to Sanctuary is taken as the holy peak and not permitted to climb. Main peaks that can be seen during the trek is Fishtail or called Machhapuchhre ( 6,993 m./ 22,943 ft ), Gangapurna ( 7454 m. / 24,455 ft.) Gandharva Chuli ( 6,248 m./ 20,498 ft.), Tharpu Chuli or Tent Peak ( 5,695 m./ 18,684 ft.), Singu Chuli or Fluted Peak ( 6, 501 m./ 21,328 ft.), Annapurna I ( 8,091 m./ 26,545 ft.), Annapurna South ( 7,219 m./ 23, 684 ) and Hiunchuli ( 6434 m./ 21,108 ft.) with other smaller peaks.
During Annapurna Base Camp Sanctuary Trek, you walk into the Annapurna Conservation Area which covers 7,629 sq Km as the largest conservation area of Nepal and launched in 1986. ACA is a treasure of natural biodiversity with 1,226 species of flowering plants, 102 mammals, 474 species of birds, 39 reptiles and 22 amphibians. More than 100,000 people live inside the conserved area.
The Trekking begins with a beautiful drive or fly to Pokhara – Lake city of Nepal. From Pokhara, we trek to Dhampus – Pothana – Chhomrong – Bamboo – Himalaya – Machhapuchhre Base Camp and to Annapurna Base Camp and Sanctuary and return the same way making a small loop from Jhinnudanda only. The trek can be combined with Ghorepani and Poon Hill which is the most popular sunrise view point in the region.
Day 01 & 02: Arrive Kathmandu ( 1, 350 m. / 4429 ft )- Transfer to your Hotel
Depart your sweet home for lifetime adventure in the Himalayas and Nepal.
Arrive to Kathmandu international airport – the only international airport in Nepal. You may proceed for visa if you have not obtained in your home country.
Requirements for Visa: Two passport sized photographs and USD 40 for one month visa.
Upon completion of immigration formality, you will proceed to claim your baggage and then to arrival terminal. There is only one arrival terminal at the airport.
Once you reach meeting and reception area, meet with our representative and drive to your hotel.
It is about 20 -30 minutes drive to your Hotel. You will be amazed with hustle and bustle of the city management at first !
Based on your arrival time either participate in short tour of the Kathmandu City and Basantapur Durbar Square ( 18th century palace complex square) or stroll around the Hotel, do final shopping and relax before your great trek begins . Overnight stay in the Hotel in Kathmandu.
Day 03: Kathmandu – ( Drive or Fly ) to Pokhara ( 950 m. / 3,116 ft.)
Fly or Drive to Pokhara from Kathmandu which is based on your choice of service type ( please refer to Deluxe or Standard service type).
6.30 depart your Hotel for the bus station to drive to Pokhara by luxury tourist coach. You will then drive through beautiful mountainous highway with numbers of curves and bends along the river Trishuli, Marshyangdi, Seti. During the driving, you will come across with various settlements, farming terraced field, farmers working in the field, people enjoying rafting in Trishuli river . They all amaze and excite you. It is about 7 hours drive to Pokhara. We stop on the way for Lunch.
10 am – 12 noon: We transfer you to the domestic terminal for your flight to Pokhara. The flight will be marvellous experience in the Himalayas in which you can enjoy the view of majestic Himalayan Peaks. It includes Langtang Range, Ganesh Himal Range, Manasalu Range and Annapurna Range. It is about 25 minutes flight to Pokhara.
Upon arrival, your Trekking guide will receive at the airport and transfer you to the Hotel.
4.00 Pm: In the later afternoon, you enjoy the tour around lakeside and possibly boat ride in the most popular boating lake Fewa.
Pokhara, situated 200 Km west of Kathmandu is one of the most popular tourist destination in Nepal. Three mountain peaks Mt. Dhaulagiri ( 8,168 m. / 26.794 ft.) , Mt. Manasalu ( 8,156 m. / 26,758 ft.) and Mt. Annapurna I ( 8,091 m. / 26,545 ft.) out of the ten highest mountain peaks of the world are situated in this region ( 30 miles linear distance from Pokhara). Pokhara offers a beautiful view of the Himalayan peaks as the elevation rises sharply from 1,000 m to 7,500 m. within 30 Km distance. The city is equipped with many Lakes – Fewa Lake, Begnas Lake, Rupa Lake, Caves – Mahendra Cave, Chamere Cave, Devi’s Fall, Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave, International Mountain Museum, Sarangkot and World Peace Stupa etc.
Overnight stay in the Hotel in Lakeside.
Day 04: Pokhara – drive to Phedi – Trek to Pothana ( 1,890 m./ 6,200 ft.)
7.30 am: Breakfast in the Hotel in Pokhara.
8.30 am: Drive to Phedi through beautiful Valley created by Seti river towards north west about 30 minutes from your hotel in Lakeside. From here, your real walking adventure begins. You are now fully prepared with your small day pack, luggage, good walking boots, sticks, water bottle, cream etc.
From Phedi ( 1130 m. ) we start to climb steep uphill in the jungle for about 30 minutes towards north west. After this steep uphill, we reach base of the Dhampus village. We then walk through beautiful terraced farming field. We are now already gaining height so, view of hills, jungles, river valley and Pokhara seems beautiful.
12 – 1.00 pm: Lunch in Dhampus village ( 1,650 m.) after 3 hrs uphill walk. Dhampus is one of the most beautiful and popular town in the region. Many visitors to Pokhara climb to Dhampus only to enjoy the village life, landscape and close view of Himalayan peaks.
Our walk continue to Pothana in the forest for another one and half hour after lunch.
3-4.00 pm: We finish our first day walking in Pothana and enjoy stay in a cozy mountain lodge.
Day 05: Walk Pothana – Landruk (1780 m. / 5,840 ft.)
7.30 am: Breakfast in the lodge. Choices of potatoes, eggs, toasts, muesli, porridge, chapati bread, tibetan bread or similar are in breakfast.
8.15 am: From Pothana, we start our hike for today. The first part is beautiful gentle uphill in the forest. We can stop for tea in Bhedi Kharka and then to Tolkha for lunch.
12 -1.00 pm: Lunch in Tolkha. After lunch we continue in the beautiful landscape to Landruk.
2 – 3.00 pm: Arrive Landruk for overnight stay . Landruk is a beautiful village of Gurung community from where view of Annapurna south and Hiunchuli is splendid.
Day 06: Walk Landruk – Chhomrong ( 2,170 m. / 7,120 ft.)
7.00 am: Breakfast in the lodge and prepare to walk.
8.00 am: Walk gradual downhill towards north through the terraced field at the beginning from Landruk. On the left, river Modi flows with beautiful music to entertain your walking. We meet the river Modi in New Bridge ( 1,340 m. ) where we cross the bridge and walk uphill in the next side. We start to climb uphill from New Bridge till Chhomrong which is long way uphill .
12 – 1.00 pm: We break our continuous uphill and stop for lunch in Jhinnudanda
After lunch we walk another two hours of steep up for the stay in Chhomrong. Chhomrong is situated in the lap of Annapurna South and Hiunchuli and the last large Gurung settlement in the area. From here onward, there is no permanent settlement of the people in the Sanctuary region.
You will see Mardi Himal ( 5,553 m. / 18,218 ft.), Machhapuchre known popularly as Fishtail as the top of the peak forked as tail of fish ( 6,993 m./ 22,943 ft.) , Annapurna South ( 7,219 m./ 23,684 ft.) and Hiunchuli ( 6,434 m. / 21,108 ft.) so close and beautiful from Chhomrong.
Day 07: Hike Chhomrong to Dovan or Himalaya
7.00 am: Breakfast in the lodge.
8.00 am: Start our day with a walk steep down through the village of Chhomrong to Chhomrong Khola ( stream ). Once we reach at the bottom in the stream, we cross the bridge, the trail is steep uphill to Sinuwa ( 2,360m.) then after from here . View of Chhomrong, Jhinnudanda and other villages from Sinuwa is beautiful if you turn back. You can see the part of Hiunchuli from Sinuwa.
We are now in a deep gorge without any significant view of either mid – hill landscape or Himalayan peaks but blessed with waterfalls, forest, chirping sounds of birds and songs of Modi river.
We walk all the way uphill, sometime steep staircases as well until Himalaya ( 3,200 m.). We may stop in Dovan or Himalaya as per the room availability and our stamina.\
Day 08: Hike to Machhapuchhre Base Camp M.B.C.( 3,700 m. / 12,139 ft. )
7.00 am: Breakfast in the lodge,
8.00 am : We walk in the jungle up to Deurali and from Deurali the landscape change due to climatic change. From Deurali, we walk in wider and open river bed with snow covered Himalayan Peaks on both sides. Little ahead of Deurali is Bagar where we walk in the Avalanche moraine .Machhapuchre can be seen in the right side corner towards north east and Gangapurna ( 7,454 m. / 24,455 ft.) in the straight ahead towards north. Tea break in Deurali.
1.00 pm: Arrive Machhapuchhre Base Camp. Machhapuchhre literally means “ Fish Tail “ is located in the south of Annapurna Range as a steep mountain peak. The peak was attempted to climb in 1957 by British team of climbers Wilfrid Noyce and A.D.M. Cox lead by Jimmy Roberts. They reached below 50 m. of the summit point and never set their foot on the top. The government of Nepal since then stop to grant permission to climb the peak. Local Gurung community respect the peak as the sacred peak associated with God Shiva.
Overnight in the mountain lodge in Machhapuchre Base Camp.
Day 09:Walk to Annapurna Base Camp ( 4,130 m. / 13,545 ft. )
Take the day very easy.
8.00 am: Breakfast in the lodge,
Start to walk to Annapurna Base Camp at 9 – 10 am, From Machhapuchhre Base Camp we trek uphill to Annapurna Base Camp which takes about 3 – 4 hours. The vegetation is totally different than what we have experienced till yesterday. The trail is covered with grass in summer months and snow in the winter months with occasional small streams coming from snow boulders and glaciers.
From M.B.C. we walk towards west in the sacred sanctuary of Annapurna. This is actually the heart of whole Annapurna. View of Hiunchuli, Annapurna South towards left side, Annapurna I straight ahead, Tharpu, Singu Chuli with other smaller peaks on the right hand side, Fishtail on the back are majestic bringing yourself into the bowl shape surrounded by mountain peaks.
Annapurna Base Camp as we now stand was the base camp used by 1970’s British Expedition – the first expedition team who climbed Annapurna I from south face. All other expedition including the one of Maurice Herzog were from North face of Annapurna I. You can explore in the evening the surrounding area including the memorial of well known mountaineer Anatoli N. Boukreev ( Native Russian) who died in Dec 25, 1997 during his winter expedition of Annapurna I . He was the one who played key role to save climbers in 1996’s tragic Everest disaster. You can read in his memorial chorten as he has said “Mountains are not stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are the cathedrals where I practice my religion.”
You can explore the surrounding area, watch over the South Annapurna glacier.
Overnight stay in the Hotel.
Day 10: Walk Back to Dovan or Bamboo ( 2,310 m / 7,578 ft)
6 – 9 am : Enjoy the Base Camp with breakfast.
We will be blessed by the morning sunrise view in the Annapurnas. As the rays of sun touch over the mighty peak of the Annapurnas, the colour keep changing. Enjoy the morning in the Annapurna Base Camp. The view of Hiunchuli, Annapurna South, Bara Sikhar ( fang ), massif wall of Annapurna I, Singu Chuli ( Fluted peak), Tharpu Chuli ( Tent peak), Annapurna III, Gandarva Chuli, Fishtail ( Machhapuchhre) are really magnificent. You will be in a bowl shape theatre made by the mountains. Enjoy the beauty and calm of the sanctuary.
After breakfast, we walk down to Machhapuchre Base Camp, Deurali, Himalaya, Dovan or Bamboo as far as we can reach on the way back. .
The walking back is easier with than that of ascending up to Basecamp with adequate of oxygen but long day downhill.
Day 11: Walk back to Chhomrong ( 2,170 m. / 7,120 ft.) or Jhinnudanda
Begin the trek early morning after simple breakfast in the lodge. We walk few uphills and downhills to reach Chhomrong. First part is uphill and gradual till Sinuwa, and the steep descend to the Chhomrong Khola. After we cross the Chomrong Khola, we walk steep uphill to the top of Chomrong village. Enjoy the short walk and magnificent view of mountains from Chhomrong.
Day 12: Walk to Ghandruk Bensi ( 1,960 m. / 6,430 ft.) & drive to Pokhara by Jeep
After breakfast we walk down to the Ghandruk Phedi and then walk to Nayapul. It is easy and nice day to walk in the downhill and flat along the river Modi.
From Nayapul, we take a taxi or other private transfer to Pokhara.
Arrive Pokhara, transfer to your Hotel and enjoy the rest of the day on your own.
Day 13: Drive or Fly to Kathmandu
If you are driving ( which is based on your service category ), then the morning starts at 6.00 am by transferring to the Tourist Bus park. Drive back to Kathmandu the same way.
If you are flying or driving back by private vehicle, then you will have more time in Pokhara to enjoy. In the late morning, depart from Pokhara to Kathmandu. Overnight stay in Kathmandu.
Day 14: Kathmandu Sightseeing Tour and Shopping
After breakfast in the morning we tour around the cultural heritage sites of Kathmandu valley. We visit Kathmandu Durbar Square, Swoyambhunath stupa, Boudhanath stupa and Pashupatinath temple. Without touring around these places, your stay in Kathmandu and visit of Nepal is meaningless. So, explore this magic, mystic and majestic cultural heritage city of Kathmandu.
Kathmandu Durbar Square is our first destination which used to be a royal palace complex square of Nepal’s Malla and Shah King’s. They rule in Kathmandu from the palace from 14th Century till 18th Century. The palace complex is completely decorated with artistic temples, shrines , statues etc. Whole palace square reflects the opulence of Malla era and little from Shah dynasty. Most popular in the square is 9 storey royal palace complex built by King Prithvi Narayan Shah in mid 18th century. King Prithvi Narayan Shah was the king of Gorkha and triumphed over Kathmandu kingdom after many attempts in 1768 A.D. Living Goddess “ KUMARI “ and beautifully crafted and decorated palace where she lives during her tenure is another attraction. Kumari is young girl ( pre – pubescent ) worshipped in Kathmandu valley as manifestation of goddess Durga ( a divine female energy) . You can have a glance of Goddess Kumari while she appears in the window of her palace upon request. Huge black Bhairab statue of 6th century, mask of white Bhairava, Shiva temple, Vishnu temple, Taleju temple, various courtyards are others to see and explore in the square.
Pashupatinath Temple is our next destination, which is the most prominent Hindu temple dedicated to lord Shiva ( God of destruction according to Hindu philosophy) . It is taken as one of the holy abode of Shiva among 275 on the continent. The present temple was erected in 17th century, though the history of site goes back to many centuries. Cremation in the bank of river Bagmati amazes you along with various shrines, temples, stories related to Hinduism.
We then visit Boudhanath Stupa, the most famous and the holiest stupa in Nepal and biggest in terms of its expansion and height. Present sky high stupa was erected and renovated in 18th century. It is located in ancient trade route between Nepal and Tibet. With influx of Tibetan refugees in 1959, the area is home to many Gompas ( monasteries ) which follows tibetan buddhism.
In the afternoon, enjoy shopping in Nepal. You find Silk Carpets, Tibetan Carpets, Pashmina Shawls, Thanka Paintings, Statues, Handicrafts, Jewellery, Gurkha Knife, Garments and other various items either in a narrow street of Thamel or other shopping areas.
Overnight stay in the Hotel in Kathmandu. In the evening, enjoy farewell dinner with cultural dance.
Day 15 & 16: Departure transfer – Arrival your sweet home
Sadly, your holiday in Nepal come to an end. We transfer you to the International Airport or other point of departure for onward journey back to your home. You will have now fond memories of the Himalayas, happy and smiling people from Nepal and lifetime holiday experience with you to bring your home back.
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